Leadership Project

Project Guidelines

This project is an opportunity to consolidate what you have learned in this course and apply this learning to a real or hypothetical situation. The only requirement for this session is preparation and participation; you will not be formally evaluated.

Reflect on the complex situation or challenge that you have been working on during the course, ideally within the healthcare realm. (This pre-work question is on OPAL and also copied below.) Within a three-minute presentation, share your challenge with the group and emphasize the area/component you wish to change. Highlight what you have learned in the course that can help with this area. If you wish to use a slide, you may use one, but only one.

Following your presentation, your group will have 5-6 minutes to provide feedback on your challenge, using clarifying and coaching questions to structure feedback. As a group member, you will in turn provide collaborative feedback to others.

Coaching questions can follow many models which are currently outside the scope of this session (although we may include these in the future if helpful). One popular model is GROW, developed by John Whitmore, Graham Alexander and Alan Fine (Whitmore, 2009). In this model, coaching questions help the individuals establish:

  • Goal: desired outcome of conversation

  • Reality: accurate picture of issue

  • Options/Obstacles: possibilities and options to deal with issue

  • Will/Wrap Forward: identify next steps and actions, accountability

Paul Mohapel and Susan Lieff summarized coaching as: centered on active listening, asking thought-provoking questions, and providing reflective feedback in such a way to help someone learn about themselves in order to best solve problems and find new possibilities. (Joule/PLI, 2020). The best coaching questions are open-ended and can fall into various categories:

  • Fact-finding (look for specific information)

  • Feeling-finding (understand underlying feelings, attitudes, motivations and convictions)

  • Clarifying (seek more information, clear up ambiguity)

  • Expanding (invite further elaboration on things unsaid)

When listening to your group member’s presentations, formulate questions out of a sense of curiosity, to try to stimulate introspection and drive growth. Some questions to consider:

  • How much personal control/influence do you have over your goal?

  • Who is involved and what is the effect on others?

  • What additional perspectives could you consider in this proposal?

  • Where might resistance come from and what messaging could you include to proactively address some of this possible resistance?

  • What options do you have?

  • What else do you need to consider?

  • What difficulties/challenges might you encounter?

  • What is your timeline/next step?

We will start this session as a large group before breaking off into small group sessions. Please reach out to the course director if you have any questions before then.

Whitmore, J. (2009). Coaching for Performance. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Mohapel, P. and Lieff, S. (2020). Coaching for Excellence. Physician Leadership Institute, Joule.


Going Up? Tips for the Medical Educator’s “Elevator Pitch” Academic Medicine 93(12):1884, December 2018.

Resources on OPAL from Population Health course: https://opal.med.umanitoba.ca

University of Manitoba Graduate Studies Program:

Prezi: https://prezi.com/jwhwyydfzqxo/how-to-talk-about-your-thesis-in-3-minutes/

University of Sussex: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/internal/doctoralschool/researcherdev/threeminthesis/preparing3mt

Pre-work Question: Think about a complex situation or challenge you are encountering where other people are involved and they look to you for leadership. Something that keeps recurring no matter how hard you try to address it. It could be change-related, professional, organizational, or personal. Choose something meaningful to you – we’ll be asking you to apply course content to your challenge periodically throughout the program.